Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson says he could support city being placed into a new Tier FOUR ‘if necessary’ to brings down coronavirus cases faster
- He said he is not opposed to the introduction of ‘tougher measures if necessary’
- Mr Anderson lost his own brother Bill, 61, to Covid less than a fortnight ago
- Downing Street examining whether to add a tier to the top of three-level system
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said today he could support any move to place the city into a new harsher Tier 4 lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus.
The Labour politician, who suffered the tragedy of losing his own brother to the pandemic less than a fortnight ago, said he is not opposed to the introduction of ‘tougher measures if necessary’.
It came after Downing Street confirmed it was examining whether it needed to add a fourth tier to the top of its current three-level system, in a move that would bring it more closely in to line with that used in Scotland.
Liverpool was the first English region to be put into the top Tier 3 and is one of five northern locations currently under the strictest level of lockdown measures due to a surge in cases.
This morning Mr Anderson, whose brother Bill was one of 61 people to die with the virus in the city in one week, told BBC Breakfast: ‘(The pandemic) has taken untold damage on people’s wellbeing and a huge toll on families where people have died.
‘If anything was required to bring it down faster I would do that.
‘However, I want to make sure that we are giving tier three a chance to see if the measures have an impact.’
The Labour politician, who lost his own brother to the pandemic less than a fortnight ago, said he is not opposed to the introduction of ‘tougher measures if necessary’
Liverpool (Albert Dock pictured last night) was the first English region to be put into the top Tier 3 and is one of five northern locations currently under the strictest level of lockdown measures due to a surge in cases.
50 Northern Tory MPs demand Boris Johnson publish exit strategy for Tier Three areas
Boris Johnson is today facing the biggest Tory challenge to his leadership since the general election after a group of 50 MPs demanded a lockdown exit strategy and ministers launched a desperate charm offensive to quell the rebellion.
The newly-formed Northern Research Group of Conservative backbenchers has written to Mr Johnson to warn the coronavirus crisis is threatening his pledge to ‘level-up’ the country and could ‘send the North into reverse’.
The group, led by former Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry, wants the Prime Minister to publish a ‘clear road map’ for Tier Three areas to leave lockdown as well as an economic recovery plan for the North of England.
Mr Berry insisted this morning the letter does not represent a ‘revolt’ against the PM but it will have spooked Number 10 because many of the disillusioned MPs are from Red Wall seats which propelled Mr Johnson to victory last December.
Mr Berry said the Government needed to do a better job of providing the public with ‘easily digestible’ data to show how the fight against Covid-19 is progressing in order to better incentivise people to stick to the rules.
The letter prompted an immediate charm offensive from Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi as he praised the group’s MPs for acting as ‘champions for their area’.
He added he would review the results of the Tier 3 restrictions in 14 to 16 days’ time.
A fourth tier could see restaurants and non-essential retail stores close, with the plans being explored after the Scottish Government opted for a five-tier model in which Level 4 is closer to the full lockdown implemented in March – but with schools remaining open.
On Monday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Government would ‘take nothing off the table’ when asked about the prospect of a new fourth tier of restrictions.
The Health Secretary told the BBC: ‘We rule nothing out but at the moment the three-tier system is what we’re working to and it’s effective in slowing the growth of this virus but it hasn’t brought this curve to a halt.’
However Boris Johnson was more cautious later on. During a visit to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading he said: ‘We are working at the moment through the Tier 3 strategy.
‘The key thing is that if you’re contacted by NHS Test and Trace and you are told you have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus the most important thing to do is to self-isolate to beat the chain of transmission, to interrupt the chain of transmission.
‘We do need people to do that … it’s crucial to help us get through this that people do self-isolate when contacted.’
Swathes of the North West and Yorkshire have been plunged into Tier 3 local lockdowns in recent weeks, including Liverpool, Manchester, Lancashire and Sheffield.
It has seen pubs and bars close and a ban enforced on different households meeting.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland however, are already having much stricter lockdowns in a bid to halt a surge in cases.
Announcing his brother Bill’s death on October 17, Mr Anderson tweeted: ‘Despite the efforts of all the staff at Liverpool Hospital ICU my brother sadly died at 10.45 last night.
‘We want to thank the dedicated staff risking their lives for us. Thank you all for your messages of love and support. Let’s stick together and support each other and win this battle.’
Politicians, celebrities and members of the public rallied round the 62-year-old mayor, who lost another brother, Henry, to cancer five weeks previously.
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